Livewire fullback Damian McKenzie scored a brace of tries as the Waikato Chiefs held off a dogged Sunwolves in Hamilton on Saturday.
The pint-sized playmaker touched down in the 40th and 60th minutes and also slotted two conversions and a penalty to rack up 17 points for the hosts on a drizzly night at Waikato Stadium.
In their second season, the Tokyo-based Sunwolves showed their improvement against the dominant New Zealanders and despite having two players sent off after the final siren, they defended stoutly on their try-line to deny the hosts a bonus point.
Fumiaki Tanaka and Derek Carpenter crossed in the second half for the Sunwolves, with Hika Elliot and Solomona Alaimalo scoring early tries for the Chiefs, who notched their eighth win of the season.
The Chiefs beat the Sunwolves 27-20.